Santa Barbara couple opens new restaurant at polo club
Near the base of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the historic Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club welcomes a new restaurant to its clubhouse: Fieldside.
Overlooking the Carpinteria polo fields, Fieldside was opened by a local restaurateur couple, Michael and Lisa Amador.
With more than 30 years of experience in the Santa Barbara restaurant industry, Mr. Amador has made a name for himself by being committed to the quality of his food and to his customers. He even started a grocery shopping service during the pandemic for his customers at his old restaurant, Uncorked.
Seeing this quality of customer service and having tasted Mr. Amador’s food led the manager of the polo club to think of the Amadors when the club was looking for new restaurant owners.
The Amadors wanted to create a menu of comfortable food at the highest quality at a good price while keeping the preparation simple. And being inspired by their proximity to the ocean and the need for a steakhouse in Carpinteria, the Amadors decided on a “coastal steakhouse” theme.
Alongside its menu that is full of delicious steak and seafood options, Fieldside has a classic look with a comfortable and cozy atmosphere.
One delicious seafood dish is the woven salmon and halibut with a basil pesto beurre blanc, which Mr. Amador came up with himself, saying he “wanted the best of both worlds” — and it just so happens to be Mrs. Amador’s favorite dish.
For Mrs. Amador, starting Fieldside feels very “full circle” because when she first moved to Santa Barbara and opened her matchmaking business, now called Amador Matchmaking, she held her first event at the polo club.
And Mr. Amador brings to the restaurant his experience as the food and beverage manager at San Ysidro Ranch and La Cumbre Country Club, collectively, for 20 years. During his career, Mr. Amador has learned what works.
Whether it was being exposed to new foods and wines, which helped build Mr. Amador’s palate and develop his appreciation for good food and wine — he now does the wine tasting for Fieldside — or cultivating relationships within the community, Mr. Amador uses his experience to help Fieldside reach the next level.
When the food came out, so it could be photographed for the News-Press, Mr. Amador saw that the garnish wasn’t spread out enough, so he spread it out. The garnish didn’t look bad, but once Mr. Amador rearranged the garnish, it was clear that the dish looked better.
Mr. Amador knows what he wants for Fieldside, and he is willing to do the work to get there.
Although Fieldside is located in the polo club, you do not need a club membership to dine at Fieldside because they are separate entities.
The Amadors say that their relationship with the polo club is perfect because the club loves to host events, and they love to cook food for the events.
When the polo season kicks off in May, Fieldside will provide the food for the polo matches as well. (Tickets are available at sbpolo.com.)
There is restaurant patio seating, and people will be able to order food from their seats during the match, allowing them to satisfy the medieval royalty urge to be entertained while they eat.
There are alternative options for vegetarians and vegans, and the kitchen is more than happy to try and accommodate dietary needs and restrictions for the other dishes.
And be on the lookout for happy hour and brunch, which are coming to Fieldside soon.
Not to mention, Mrs. Amador is always looking to make use of the Club’s truly serene setting by thinking of fun event ideas that Fieldside can host, such as live music on the patio or line dancing, which are both potential upcoming events.
If you would like Fieldside to host an event, the Amadors are open to inquiries (contact firstname.lastname@example.org).